Harris DeckerOn Tuesday against the Boston Celtics, Jeremy Tyler recorded his best game in the NBA. While he played great, scoring 17 points, pulling down five rebounds and adding two blocked shots, much of his production came with the game well in hand. The question moving forward is what type of player Tyler can be for the Knicks?
Tyler was a guy that people around the NBA have been excited about before, and when he signed with the Knicks over the summer, it was thought that he’d be a possible impact player once he returned from foot surgery in September. He made his Knicks debut on January 5 against the Mavericks, playing just 47 seconds. Since then, he’s seen very limited playing time, but when he’s been in, he’s played well, culminating in his career night on Tuesday.
Currently, Tyler is averaging 8.6 minutes per game and has seen time in 10 games this season. But what kind of player is Jeremy Tyler? Standing at 6’10″ and backed by 260 pounds, he’s a nice crossover center or power forward. With the injuries continuing to mount for the Knicks, Tyler has given him time to rest while being more than just a pushover big. The major thing I’ve seen from him is energy. For a guy that’s 6’10″, he plays with a tremendous amount of fire, keeping his hands moving and sticking with faster guards on switches.
His ability to score is still in question. He’s scored more than 10 points just 9 times in his two and a half years in the league. As far as style goes, he’s great in the post. Knicks fans got a glimpse of Tyler during the summer league when he scored 20 points against the Clippers (see clip below). In that game, we saw him work the post and use a really smooth hook shot repeatedly. He’s also able to hit shots from almost anywhere inside the 3-point arc.
So what type of potential does Tyler have for the Knicks? Coming into the season, there were at least 5 guys ahead of him on the depth chart including Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Andrea Bargnani. Injuries have given Tyler an opportunity and it will be interesting to see if he’s able to capitalize and launch his career. After all, he is just 22.